“I’m not big into Monty Python, but I’m pleading ignorance on that one,” admits Ryan DeRobertis, the one-man electro-pop band known as Skylar Spence (and formerly known as Saint Pepsi). “I like the Beatles enough too, but I actually like this Rutles song more than most Beatles songs.”
On the second edition of the Faux Real compilation, to be released next week by Father/Daughter Records, musicians cover songs by fictional bands from TV and movies. You’d be surprised at how many great tunes by fake bands exist, from Pete & Pete to Doug to The Simpsons to Josie and the Pussycats, oftentimes forgotten outside of the context of our screens. The concept of a compilation of such songs is novel, sure, but it’s one that seems to bring listeners a bit of nostalgic joy, particularly when the covers are creative re-imaginations of their originals.
DeRobertis went with this strategy while covering “I Must Be In Love,” a “hit” by The Rutles, the Beatles parody band created by Neil Innes and Monty Python jokester Eric Idle. The Rutles were a distinctly ’70s creation on British TV, and the group imitated the sounds of the ’60s; DeRobertis transports the love song firmly into the 1980s.
“At the time I recorded the cover, I was listening to a lot of Sarah Records stuff [’80s UK pop label], particularly The Hit Parade,” DeRobertis says. “So I tried to do something in that vein. ‘I Must Be In Love’ is full-on cheese but it winks at you; for my version, I wanted to strip the song of its self-awareness and give it a different energy.”
Ryan DeRobertis, aka Skylar Spence.
“When I first started writing music as a kid I would write kind of ‘parody music’ as alter egos,” DeRobertis adds. “I always tried to make the music sound as polished and professional as possible but the lyrical content was embarrassingly dumb. I like the Rutles because it’s cool to see that concept done properly — the songs are spot-on pastiches but they actually hold their own!”
Flavorwire is pleased to premiere Skylar Spence’s take on The Rutles “I Must Be In Love” below.